Villages in the Rudawy Janowickie
Rudawy Janowickie Mountains
tourism, mystery, dreams...



400-490 m above sea level

Bukowiec is a large village located at the foot of the Rudawy Janowickie mountains, and situated close to Gruszków, Krogulec and Kostrzyca.

Part of the Mysłakowice commune in the Jelenia Góra poviat, it lies at an altitude of approximately 400-490 m above sea level.

Unlike most villages in the Rudawy mountains, the houses of Bukowiec are spread out along a number of streets. Within the village are numerous ponds, monuments of nature (approximately 350 of them!) and historical buildings – the latter including a palace, a park with precious trees, a grange, a Temple to Athena (known as the Tearoom), abbey ruins, a viewing tower, a gardener's house and a Druids' circle, etc. There is a conciliation cross by one of the churches, and a cholera stone by the other.


Around 1300 the village was known as Buchwalth. In 1499 it was Ober-, Nieder-Buchwald, in 1668 – Buchwald, in 1896 – Bukowina, in 1945 – Zeylandowo and Bukownik, and since 1946 it has been known as Bukowiec.

Bukowiec is a large, old village which until the 18th century belonged to the Jawor duchy, while currently it is situated in the Mysłakowice commune (Jelenia Góra poviat). In 1305, as a large knights' village, Bukowiec paid taxes to the bishop of Wrocław. The village already had a church then, which was at that time a sign of the settlement's size.The owners of Bukowiec were the von Zedlitz family, a well-known Silesian dynasty. Around the year 1420 Hans von Zedlitz built two fish ponds in the village.

However, when exactly the palace was constructed is not certain. The property was in the Zedlitz family's hands up until the 16th century, and each of the four heirs bore the name Hans. Their wives came from old Silesian families such as von Hochberg, von Schindel, von Schellendorf and von Schweinichen. The next heir of Bukowiec was Heinrich von Zedlitz, who married his cousin Magdalena from the Lomnitz line.

The years of the Thirty Years War left their mark on all the villages in the vicinity. On 23 November 1622 a unit of Lisowczycy cavalry forces passed through Bukowiec on their way to Jelenia Góra, a terrifying time for the village's population. In 1659 the settlement passed into the hands of the von Reibnitz barons as the dowry of Barbara, daughter of the last of this line of the von Zedlitz family.

Cottage weaving developed in Bukowiec once the Thirty Years War was over, but the second half of the 17th century saw an intensification in the level of desertion from the village – testifying to the poverty and living conditions of the time. In 1748 or 1749 Baron von Reibnitz funded the construction of a timber prayer house in Bukowiec. A few decades later, in 1782, it was converted into a masonry Evangelical church together with a parsonage. The next owner, in 1759, was Von Kattowitz, followed by Baron von Richthofen, and in 1762 Barbara H. von Festenberg-Packisch. In 1769 ownership of the village passed to Fr. von Packisch. It was recorded as having 110 crofters, 47 serfs and 16 peasants. The property was estimated to be worth 31,974 thalers.

The new owner in 1770 was von Luck, and in 1773 the estate passed down to his widow, Barbara von Luck. Just a year later and Bukowiec was in the hands of Karl von Seher-Thoss, who bequeathed it to his daughter, Maria E. von Prittwitz. She sold the property in 1785 to Count Fryderyk von Reden, who was then Burgomaster of Silesia.

Documents record Bukowiec in 1786 as having a manor, 4 granges, 2 churches, 2 parsonages (Catholic and Evangelical), 2 mills and a school. Bukowiec was then home to 66 crofters, 16 peasants and 13 serfs.

Count von Reden changed the face of Bukowiec through his conversion of the manor, work for which lasted from 1790 to 1800[JdW1] . He was also famous for establishing a beautiful park in the spirit of Romanticism, with numerous buildings scattered around the grounds. Work on this project lasted until 1820, and its final stages were carried out by his wife Friederike Karoline von Reden with the gardener at the time, Hans Karl Walther. Jeżyny also belonged to Bukowiec at the start of the 19th century.

Bukowiec was frequently visited by illustrious guests, such as Johan Wolfgang Goethe, field marshal August N. von Gneisenau, and King Frederick William II of Prussia. In 1825, Count von Reden's widow – then the owner of Bukowiec – was still developing the estate. The village then had 199 houses, a palace, 2 granges and 2 schools (a Catholic school with one teacher, and Evangelical school with two), as well as 2 mills, a brickworks, brewery and cheese dairy (where Swiss cheeses were produced). When the Countess died, her property passed into the hands of the von Rotenhan Barons. Around the year 1870 Bukowiec was owned by Baroness von Rotenhan zu Rentweisdorf.

The estate was estimated to cover 2,538 morgens, while its annual income from taxes was 2,683 thalers. Bukowiec remained under the rule of von Rotenhan zu Rentweisdorf until 1945. It was a village frequently visited by tourists, its brewery and court inn popular attractions on their trips. In the years between the wars there were 3 inns and 4 boarding houses in Bukowiec, and the village boasted accommodation for a total of 70 visitors. Ponds in the park, such as the Kąpielnik [Bathing pond], became local bathing spots.
The years of war proved a tragic period for the village and the vicinity. Prisoners at the Gross-Rosen camp were put to labour in the quarries. When the war was over the palace was plundered. Wrocław University had a fish station by a pond in the park, while the palace itself was used for a holiday centre for the university as well as Wrocław's Technical University. The next change for the palace occurred in 1973, when the Provincial Centre for Agricultural Progress and Farming Advice Centre were established there, followed by the Giant Mountains People's University. Currently the palace is used by the Union of Giant Mountain Communes.

In the late 1970s Bukowiec was a farming village. It had 44 individual farms as well as the Provincial Centre for Agricultural Progress. By 1988 there were already 56 individual farms listed as operating there, providing a living for approximately 50% of the village's population. Bukowiec today is developing in the area of tourism, and the park buildings and park itself are undergoing a revival.

Translation Jonathan Weber


1. "Słownik geografii turystycznej Sudetów. Rudawy Janowickie". Red. M. Staffa. Wyd. I-BIS. Wrocław 1998